Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today Must Be Free Carb Day!

It's as if the sugar gods are trying to get me to keep this leftover baby weight on my frame. Oh well...

Unnecessary caloric additions to my diet will be made possible today courtesy of the following freebies:

Starbucks is offering a free pastry with any handcrafted drink purchase until 10:30 am. So not only will I be loading up on caffeine and sugar from my drink but I can throw in a double iced cinnamon roll to enhance the flavor! Croissants, muffins, bagels, breads, poundcakes, scones, rolls, doughnuts, coffee cakes, morning buns and cheese danishes are all available- basically, the bulk of the bakery menu. Luckily Starbucks boasts that it's pastries do not contain artificial flavors, artificial dyes, artificial trans fats or high-fructose corn syrup.

To get your free pastry before 10:30 am, order any handcrafted, iced or brewed drink and present the coupon on paper or on any mobile device...there's that justification for my iPhone again. :) The coupon can be found here.

Then after lunch, head on over to Ben & Jerry's for a free cone or cup of your favorite ice cream.

Yup, free cone/cup day is back! An annual tradition dating back to 1979, the year my fabulous hubby was born, founders offer the freebies as a way to thank patrons for making this mom & pop start-up the international phenom it is today. My all-time favorite is half baked which contains chocolate and vanilla ice creams mixed with fudge brownie and chocolate chip cookie dough but I always use free cone/cup day as an excuse to try a new flavor. I'm going to have a difficult time choosing today because this year I have scoops of options. New flavors include: Maple Blondie, Milk and Cookies, Peanut Brittle, Boston Creme Pie, Dulce Delish, Mud Pie and Chocowlate Chip.

Greaaaaaaaaat. Maybe I'll take Nick after I pick him up from school.

Enjoy fellow fat-asses! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Top O' the Mornin' to Ye Laddies!

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In Left Field (excerpt 'Raising Nick' re: parenting trials)

I've reached another of those parenting trials that has me between a rock and a hard place.

Following a lengthy battle between my husband, the epitome of a baseball fan/former little leaguer, and I, the lifelong soccer player who's dying to be a soccer mom, Nick joined his first organized sports league last month.

$35 Soccer cleats
$18 shin guards
$20 soccer goal
$15 soccer ball

Finding out that the soccer team I was going to sign up my kid to is now full paving the way for my husband to get his way to sign up the kid to baseball instead- PRICELESS... :/

I shouldn't really complain, though; Nick loves playing baseball so the proverbial silver lining prevails. Apart from liking the sport, he's lost his fear of getting hit by the ball; learned to catch pop flies with his glove; and, can hit the ball when pitched to. Not bad for a first timer but he's no A-Rod (yet).

As adults, we take for granted that which has come to be ease after years of practice so my husband and I do get somewhat frustrated when we see him miss easy catches/plays/outs but my father-in-law, Nick's 3rd biggest fan (actual tallest fan), put Nick's new skills back into perspective for me at Nick's game last Saturday when he reminded me of the accomplishment by telling my husband and I (that) 'one of the hardest things to do in life is to hit a little ball with a stick when it's coming right at you'. I guess we shouldn't be so demanding because, again, it's only his first time playing organized sports.

I use the term organized loosely because the organization is somewhat lacking. The coaches miss practices 1/4 of the time. Of the times they show, they lack consistency and structured instruction. They let the kids practice hitting from tees only to be coach pitched at games. During the games, they swap the kids all over the field trying to find 'their' positions but do not practice the same placements.

The kids fight each other for balls. Some kids stare off at the sky while others dance on the field, mine included. They've lost all their games- and miserably at that, but are still told by the coaches that 'they won.' The coaches, while not very motivated, are VERY nurturing and encouraging to the kids but what of creating skill? Oh and regarding being encouraging- all but one that is.

One of the coaches is a complete a-hole but he is an a-hole to his son only; and thankfully so because if he ever spoke to Nick the way he does to his son, I would straight up kick his ass! He berates his little boy at every practice and every game. Day in and day out I hear him say 'you weren't fast enough,''you didn't hit right,''that was your ball' and the little boy always shrugs his shoulder. Would it kill him to throw one little 'nice try son' to his kid?

Sometimes I wonder though, if Gus and I are acting similarly with our expectations and suggestions.

I know I shouldn't expect much from a league consisting of 4 to 6 year olds but the $180 price tag for 2 months should buy something more than a uniform and fun, no? At the very least, a little instruction? Fun is important- don't get me wrong, but shouldn't he be learning HOW to play? Correctly? After all, these are lessons that could potentially make or break his future playing.

So herein lays my dilemma: should he stay or should he go?

There is another league, same age group, which his league plays against and they seem to have their stuff together. Their kids know where the plays go; where to run to; when to run; and most importantly, how to play together. Those kids appear to be having fun and the coaches are tough without being cretins.

+ what of separating him from his new friends?

Ay-ya-yay...the trials of parenting...and he's only 6!